– The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted its first crash tests of several convertibles, and has awarded the Volvo C70 as one of their Top Safety Picks. The Volvo C70 arrived in the U.S. market in 2006 and features an Inflatable Curtain (IC) for side impact protection, the use of multiple grades of steel for frontal and rear collisions, and Volvo’s Roll Over Protection System (ROPS).
The C70 comes standard with the IC, which has an extra stiff construction with double rows of slats that are slightly offset from each other. This allows them to remain upright and offer effective head protection even with the window open. The curtain also deflates slowly to provide protection should the car roll over.
Also, the passengers in the front seat have side impact airbags, the size of which is adapted to cover both the chest and hip areas. The inflatable curtain interacts with the seat belt pretensioners to help provide maximum protection for the front seat occupants in a side impact or a rollover accident. All four seats are equipped with pretensioners.
The Volvo system for avoiding neck injuries — WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) — is also standard in the all-new Volvo C70. In the event of a powerful rear-end collision the backrests and head restraints in the front seats follow the movements of the seat occupant’s body. The three-piece steering column is designed to pivot up and collapse away from the driver through the use of a pyrotechnically charged separation bolt. This helps to better position the airbag deployment process for pending contact with driver.
First seen on the Volvo S40 sport sedan, the C70 continues the use of utilizing different grades of steel to helps control impact energy in the event of a collision. The C70 has a unique front energy absorbing structure that uses three additional grades of steel aside from the regular bodywork steel: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel, and Ultra High Strength Steel. When combined in different structural elements, the C70 maintains excellent low- and high-speed deformation as witnessed by the Institutes’ frontal crash testing.
The Rollover Protection System (ROPS) popup bars are also pushed upwards in the event of a rear-end collision. The aim is to reduce the risk of the passengers being hit by flying objects from the car behind.